The Sandwich: The Kim-Cheese-Steak

Where: GCDC, 1730 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Price: $11

Bread: Sliced white bread

Stuffings: Cheddar blend, Number 1 Sons’ kimchi, spicy sauce, Korean-style roast beef

Thickness: 1 inch

Pros: The salty and sour kimchi, created by the local fermentation experts at Number 1 Sons, boosts the bland bread and cheese combo and remains crunchy after toasting. And while the roast beef feels more mushy than chewy, its marinade adds just enough sweetness to contrast with the kimchi’s tang.

Cons: Although it bills itself as a fancified take on a classic, the sandwich lacks two grilled cheese essentials: buttery toast and strings of cheese that tether you to the sandwich long after you take a bite. In this case, the bread dries out in the oven and the cheddar blend turns into a gelatinous goo. Combined with the texturally confusing roast beef and the absent spicy sauce, this high-cost sandwich doesn’t justify its price tag.

Sloppiness Level (1 to 5): 2. Toasting keeps the majority of the ingredients within their stale bread fortress, but some cheese goop drips out when you bite in, then congeals on the plate. Don’t feel obligated to lick it clean.

Overall Score (1 to 5): 2.5. Blending three disparate flavors into one sandwich overcomplicates this comfort food. You’re better off gathering ingredients at the farmers’ market and experimenting at home.

Photo by Caroline Jones